by Paul Sanders
If you want more control over your TV shows, movies and photos, you might consider looking at DVD recorders. DVD recorders use recordable DVD discs, much like VCRs use VHS tapes. You can record your favorite shows and movies, creating your own chapters and even custom menus. DVD recorders come with a lot of features, so you may want to do some searching for the specific features you want your DVD player/recorder to have. Here are the top five features to look for in DVD recorders.
Blu-ray recorders and 1080p: Some DVD recorders are "up-converting" DVD players, meaning they will take standard-definition DVDs and increase their resolution to 1080p for your HDTV. TVs and DVD players must both have HDMI connections for this to work. Alternately, you can pick up a Blu-ray recorder that can record Blu-ray discs and also has 1080p up-conversion.
Multiple disc-format support: DVD recorders use recordable DVDs, labeled DVD-R/DVD+R (one recording only) or DVD-RW/DVD+RW (rewriteable). Make sure you know which disc formats your DVD recorder supports before you buy a spindle of recordable DVDs. You may also consider purchasing a DVD combo recorder with a VCR built in. That way, you can convert your old VHS tapes to DVDs, which don't degrade over time as quickly as VHS.
High-definition recording: Many DVD recorders will up-convert old DVDs to high-definition, but not all of them will record in 1080p. If you want to record HD programming onto a disc, check our DVD recorders that specifically state that ability. Also, a high-definition cable like HDMI must be connected to your HDTV to transmit HD signals to and from your DVD recorder.
Digital audio recording: As with HD video, HD audio signals require HDMI connections between TVs and DVD recorders. Be sure that your DVD recorder is capable of recording high-definition sound to go with that incredible picture.
Scheduled recording and timer options: If you want to record programs while you're away from home or you just don't want to manually press the record button, look for DVD recorders with auto-record and timer features. That way, you can simply set the DVD recorder for a specific date and time, insert a blank DVD, and let the machine record your program.